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British Airways A319 in retro BEA livery back flying after period in storage  

After having been stored in Madrid for over a year, the British Airways (BA) Airbus A319, which was painted in the special British European Airways (BEA) ‘Red Square’ color scheme as part of BA’s centenary celebrations in 2019, has returned to active flying for the carrier. 

The aircraft, registered G-EUPJ, flew from Madrid’s Adolfo Suárez-Barajas Airport (MAD) to London-Heathrow Airport (LHR) on Wednesday, June 12, 2024, following 570 days of storage at the Spanish airport. According to some sources, it had been permanently retired from active commercial service with BA. 

In a surprise to many, the aircraft seems to have escaped retirement and is already back flying commercial flights for BA on domestic routes across the UK as well as internationally. The aircraft touched down on Heathrow’s runway 27L at around 14:15 on June 12, 2024, after a one-hour and 55-minute ferry flight from Madrid flying under callsign BA9278. 

Vytautas Kielaitis / Shutterstock

Just under seven hours after it arrived back at its home base, the aircraft was already being deployed on a night-stop commercial service to Glasgow. The plane returned to London on June 13, 2024, where it then operated rotations to Lisbon (LIS) and Amsterdam. G-EUPJ is scheduled to perform flights to Cologne and Nice on the date of this article. 

According to ch-aviation, G-EUPJ is just over 24 years old, having been delivered to BA in May 2000. The aircraft has flown exclusively for BA throughout its entire flying career, although it was officially declared as ‘stored’ in late 2023. 

The aircraft was rolled out in its special BEA centenary livery on March 4, 2019, alongside two Boeing 747s also painted in commemorative color schemes (one in the early 1980s era ‘Negus’ scheme, the other in the Landor-designed livery).  

BEA operated from 1946 through until 1974, when it merged with British Overseas Aircraft Corporation (BOAC) to form modern-day British Airways. The livery worn by the BA ‘retrojet’ G-EUPJ was primarily seen on domestic and European routes between 1959 and 1968. The version unveiled on the BA plane varies slightly from the original. The aircraft features grey upper wing surfaces, rather than the traditional red as worn by aircraft in BEA days, to meet current wing paint reflectivity requirements. 

Bradley Caslin / Shutterstock

“It was another really special day as we welcomed our BEA liveried A319 into Heathrow this morning, which forms part of our centenary heritage fleet,” said then-CEO of BA, Alex Cruz, back in March 2019. “Yet again huge crowds were lining the perimeter fence to see the aircraft coming in, which shows just how excited people are about these designs. We’ve been overwhelmed with positive feedback from customers and colleagues.”    

The return of G-EUPJ to active service will doubtless turn heads once again over the coming months as it makes its way around BA’s domestic and European networks.  

The post British Airways A319 in retro BEA livery back flying after period in storage   appeared first on AeroTime.

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